Secret talents behind common household items.
Shower Cap as Shoe Bag
Prevent dirt or sand-covered shoes from mingling (and soiling) neatly packed clothes in your suitcase.
Address Labels as Travel ID Tags
Tag your precious travel items, such as your iPod and digital camera with return address labels. If you accidentally leave a device on the airplane, a Good Samaritan will know where to mail it. Consider them homing devices for your airborne companions.
Bubble Wrap as Jewelry Organizer
For tangle-free jewlery on the go, place chains and earrings on a length of wrap, roll tightly, and tape closed. Your necklaces will emerge from your suitcase ready to wear, even if the same can't be said for your clothes.
Zippered Plastic Bag as Packing Material
Cushion precious cargo in a box. Before closing it all the way, slide a straw into the top, and inflate. Then remove the straw and completely seal the protective bubble.
Packing Tape as Nut and Bolt Holder
Gather loose bolts and nails in the garage by sticking them to a length of tape and layering another piece of tape on top.
Oven Mitt as Heat Guard
When you don't have time to let your styling tool cool (say, you're headed for the airport or going straight to work from the gym), stash it in a heat-resistant mitt before packing it up.
Popcorn as Packing Material
Cushion a care package by filling the empty space with plain, air-popped popcorn.